Civilization and its Malcontents #8
Mikhail Bakunin ("The Destroyer") on God and Infinity:
I could say that Nature is the sum of all things that have real existence. This, however, would give an utterly lifeless concept of Nature, which, on the contrary, appears to us as being all life and movement. For that matter, what is the sum of things? Things that exist today will not exist tomorrow. Tomorrow they will not pass away but will be entirely transformed. Therefore I shall find myself much nearer to the truth if I say: Nature is the sum of actual transformations of things that are and will ceaselessly be produced within its womb. In order to render more precise the idea of this sum or totality, I shall lay down the following proposition as a basic premise:
Whatever exists, all the beings which constitute the undefined totality of the Universe, all things existing in the world, whatever their particular nature may be in respect to quality or quantity - the most diverse and the most similar things, great or small, close together or far apart - necessarily and unconsciously exercise upon one another, whether directly or indirectly, perpetual action and reaction. All this boundless multitude of particular actions and reactions, combined in one general movement, produces and constitutes what we call Life, Solidarity, Universal Causality, Nature. Call it, if you find it amusing, God, the Absolute - it really does not matter - provided you do not attribute to the word God a meaning different from the one we have just established: the universal, natural, necessary, and real, but in no way predetermined, preconceived, or foreknown combination of infinity of particular actions and reactions which all things having real existence incessantly exercise upon one another. Thus defined, this Universal Solidarity, Nature viewed as an infinite universe, is imposed upon our mind as a rational necessity...
for the series: Civilization and its Malcontents